Stimulate growth

The ultimate guide to stimulate growth

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This guide provides an outline for how to stimulate growth. If we are fortunate enough to experience growth, we face many new issues. We will discuss four major areas that must be attended to in order to stimulate growth. 

1. Reconfiguring our business processes

A business that grows must change. Running a business means moving through predictable cycles. 

First, you have to figure out one way to do something. But inevitably, we find that there are drawbacks to our method. Nevertheless, we tend to stay with that method until we can no longer keep up with the increasing volume of activity. Once the old no longer works, we must recreate a new way to do each business process. 

For example, in the beginning, I handled all my calls on my own. In truth, I did not have the money to hire someone to help. The downside was that once I had a full caseload, I often failed to return my calls like the business needed. My overwhelmedness created holes in my schedule, and I lost opportunities. 

An early rebuild

My first fix was to hire someone, a part-time person who would answer the calls from her home. That helped. But eventually, I needed more help. Fast forward years ahead. By the time I retired, the company had ten support staff who answered calls plus other duties. And this is one of the more straightforward examples. 

The rebuilding process needs to go on repeatedly with each of the business’s primary functions. Countless times, we had to redo how we handled calls, scheduling, billing, collections, and computer software system, all the Core Activities (see How to master the unrelenting business demands of practice.) My team and I have rebuilt every aspect of everything multiple times over my 40 years of practice. And the transformations continue. That is what it takes to keep a business alive.

A system grows up

One more example. My first management system for tracking billing and collections was a paper/pencil system called a “one-write” system. I had each transaction copied onto a ledger card, receipts, and journal with one handwritten record. It was the most excellent system of its day. See a sample of the “one-write pegboard system” here. Cute but no longer efficient.

Eventually, this system gave way to a computerized practice management system. And then, of course, we upgraded two more times with different computer vendors. Finally, we got to the product we use now. (Read more here about Selecting a practice management system.)

All this effort is just what is required to stimulate growth. Here are some posts on some ways to work on these areas:

2. Solving the issues of expansion

Growth begets growth. Moreover, in order to stimulate growth we face the challenges of hiring and managing more people. Furthermore, we must also find office space to support them. 

Here are some posts about some of the issues involved in repeatedly making these decisions:

3. Growing our financial understanding

As the organization grows, the size of its financial obligations increases as well. And since most of us do not have business degrees, our knowledge of finances also must expand. 

Generally, therapists have not thought about the many money issues involved in mental health organizations. I have written quite a few posts in this area. 

4. Redeveloping our branding and marketing

And the last area of focus is the need to update, expand, and systematize our ongoing marketing and branding. Of course, when we grow, the brand shifts, and how we define ourselves and how we communicate that to our potential customers is constantly shifting. 

Here are some posts on marketing and branding:

The ultimate guide to stimulate growth

So when we put all these areas together, we see how extensive our efforts must be. We must be attentive to which of our processes needs attention, stay on top of any financial matters or any setbacks that may be on the horizon. Furthermore, we must focus on our expansion, leadership, and marketing needs. Yes, it is much like keeping all the plates spinning. But it’s that the fun of it?

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